North Tulsa Jaywalking Case That Drew Attention To Tulsa Policing Heads To Court

Aug 26, 2020

A Black teenager arrested on June 4th by white police officers in North Tulsa for allegedly jaywalking and assaulting a police officer will appear in court Thursday more than an hour from where the incident occurred.

Since part of North Tulsa lies in Osage County, the boy will go to court in Pawhuska. His mother Tawanna Adkins said it’s just one more thing that makes her son distrust the legal system.

The teen, who had just turned 14, was walking to a store with his cousin when white police officers stopped them for allegedly jaywalking.

The incident, which was caught on video by a bystander and the officers' body cameras, quickly turned aggressive. The videos show police grabbing the teen from behind, forcing him to the ground and handcuffing him. Later, an officer is shown kicking the teen's legs as he's sitting in the police vehicle, then tossing the teen out of the car onto the street.

Adkins said, since the incident, her son has become less trusting of people.

“He’s more withdrawn,” she said. “He doesn’t really like to get out much.”

She would like the charges dropped, an apology, and for the officers to receive bias training.

“I definitely feel like there’s been an injustice,” she continued.

The incident drew national attention. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, who was reelected on Tuesday, said shortly after the incident in a Facebook post that he wants every child to feel safe walking in their neighborhood.

A GoFundMe page has raised about $2,600 for legal fees.

This report comes from a partnership between KOSU and Focus: Black Oklahoma, which aims to bring the voice of Black Oklahoma back to mainstream broadcast media.

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